Obama targets college sexual assault epidemic

Report: 1 in 5 female students are assaulted, but only 1 in 8 report it
Associated Press
Jan 22, 2014

 

President Barack Obama shone a light Wednesday on a college sexual assault epidemic that is often shrouded in secrecy, with victims fearing stigma, police poorly trained to investigate and universities reluctant to disclose the violence.

A White House report highlights a stunning prevalence of rape on college campuses, with 1 in 5 female students assaulted while only 1 in 8 student victims report it.

"No one is more at risk of being raped or sexually assaulted than women at our nation's colleges and universities," said the report by the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Nearly 22 million American women and 1.6 million men have been raped in their lifetimes, according to the report. It chronicled the devastating effects, including depression, substance abuse and a wide range of physical ailments such as chronic pain and diabetes.

The report said campus sexual assaults are fueled by drinking and drug use that can incapacitate victims, often at student parties at the hands of someone they know.

Perpetrators often are serial offenders. One study cited by the report found that 7 percent of college men admitted to attempting rape, and 63 percent of those men admitted to multiple offenses, averaging six rapes each.

Obama, who has overseen a military that has grappled with its own crisis of sexual assaults, spoke out against the crime as "an affront on our basic decency and humanity." He then signed a memorandum creating a task force to respond to campus rapes.

Obama said he was speaking out as president and a father of two daughters, and that men must express outrage to stop the crime.

"We need to encourage young people, men and women, to realize that sexual assault is simply unacceptable," Obama said. "And they're going to have to summon the bravery to stand up and say so, especially when the social pressure to keep quiet or to go along can be very intense."

Obama gave the task force, comprised of administration officials, 90 days to come up with recommendations for colleges to prevent and respond to the crime, increase public awareness of each school's track record and enhance coordination among federal agencies to hold schools accountable if they don't confront the problem.

Records obtained by The Associated Press under the federal Freedom of Information Act illustrate a continuing problem for colleges in investigating crime. The documents include anonymous complaints sent to the Education Department, often alleging universities haven't accurately reported on-campus crime or appropriately punished assailants as required under federal law.

A former Amherst College student, Angie Epifano, has accused the school of trivializing her report of being raped in a dorm room in 2011 by an acquaintance. She said school counselors questioned whether she was really raped, refused her request to change dorms, discouraged her from pressing charges and had police take her to a psychiatric ward. She withdrew from Amherst while her alleged attacker graduated.

Among the federal laws requiring colleges to address sexual assault are: Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education; the renewed Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law last year with new provisions on college sexual assault; and the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to publicly report their crime statistics every year.

The Education Department has investigated and fined several schools for not accurately reporting crimes. Most notably was a 2006 case at Eastern Michigan University, in which the government eventually fined the school a then-record $357,000 for not revealing a student had been sexual assaulted and murdered in her dorm room.

Violent crime can be underreported on college campuses, advocates say, because of a university's public-image incentive to keep figures low, or because crimes can occur off campus and instead investigated by local police. Other times, schools put such suspects before a campus court whose proceedings are largely secret and not subjected to judicial review.

Students Active for Ending Rape, a nonprofit group that works with student activists to push for sexual assault policy changes on their campuses, said in a report last year that schools often do not fully address the problem. The report gave more than 80 percent of college policies a grade C or below, an F to nearly one-quarter and said one-third don't fully comply with the Clery Act.

The White House report also declares that the criminal justice response to sexual assault broadly is too often inadequate and lays out a goal of increasing arrest, prosecution and conviction rates without any specific targets.

The report blames police bias and a lack of training to investigate and prosecute sex crimes for low arrest rates and says the federal government should promote training and help police increase testing of DNA evidence collected from victims.

The report mentions sexual assaults in the military — Obama last month directed the Pentagon to better prevent and respond to the crime within its ranks or face further reforms. White House officials say they want to set the example by turning around the sexual assault problem in the military. "I've made it clear I expect significant progress in the year ahead," Obama said.

Comments

Darwin's choice

George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to
hell. While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for.
The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth.

Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he is finished
the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin
writes him a check.
Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she
is finished the devil informs her that the cost is 6 million dollars,
so she writes him a check.
Finally George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he is
finished the devil informs him that the cost is $5.00.
When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Bush
got to call the USA so cheaply.
The devil smiles and replies, " Since Obama took over , the country’s
gone to hell, so it's a local call."

0_0

LOL

coasterfan

That's odd, we Democrats heard the same joke, except the roles of Bush and Obama were reversed (which should please the families of the 9/11 victims who must live with the fact that Bush ignored a pre-9/11 CIA warning entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within U.S", and instead went off to another long vacation at his ranch in Texas).

Also, in our version of the joke, the part of the devil was played by Dick Cheney, naturally.

Maybe it's just me, but 2900+ American deaths (the result of completely dropping the ball on 9/11) is far bigger/worse than anything Obama has ever done. Bush, of course, didn't stop there. He lied about WMDs, in order to get Congress and the American public behind him on 2 unnecessary wars, where several thousands additional Americans died needlessly.

Obama Derangement Syndrome is still in existence. It flourishes anyplace where science and education are held in suspicion, and where anything pre-2009 is wiped from historical records. It's found at Fox News, and with local yahoos who repeat the drivel they hear on Hannity/Beck/Levin shows. Ignorance is free, and they line up eagerly for their daily helping of stupidity, blind to the obvious fact that an entity that markets itself as "fair and balanced" is anything but.

Hint: if you actually think Obama is on par with the devil, you may be dumber than a 5th grader, and you have an incredibly short memory. The good news: you qualify for your teaparty merit badge.

santown419

Love+1

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Which sources do you reference to form (or hold sway over) your own opinions?

Do you listen to any of the three shows you mention that seemingly dish out ignorance? I'll assure you that at least one of the three is a hundred times more of a "constitutional professor" than our President could ever hope to have been. The other regularly invites liberals on his show so that they may present their points, despite his opposition to them. And another, whether or not one agrees with him, continually thinks outside the box and searches for solutions to problems that we don't have placed directly in front of us. The dirty little secret that those who criticize shows they don't listen to is: most of these shows are opposing the Republican party and those who listen to those shows don't always agree with the views the hosts take.

Are there any other filthy, devilish conservatives here in these comment sections that would like to share their input on their "sources"? I've come clean with mine here before. I'll add that as far as conservative commentary goes, I don't prefer to listen to Rush or Savage with other options out there.

I sure don't watch Fox, in fact I don't watch traditional TV at all. I also don't believe that Obama is the devil, and not for religious reasons. He is a human. Like you and me. He is an imperfect, flawed individual with a vision. Unlike us, he is using powers granted or not to impose that vision on us no matter what.

But you and me? We get to toss around ideas in response to news articles, as flotsam amid a churning sea. Why? Because as things go that is how we are seen and treated. Masses. Statistics. Filler. Anecdotal evidence to be used as a backdrop to a speech whenever it is convenient. I don't know about you, but I would like to be respected again as an individual.

After all, would you want a Republican president to use his pen and phone in spite of Congress to enforce whichever laws (or portions thereof) he felt he should?

0_0

if you actually think Obama is smarter than a 5th grader, you are dumber than a 5th grader.